Let’s love Pakistan ─ a new resolution (III)
I'm making a list of 65 reasons I love this poor, broken, taken-for-granted country we call Pakistan.
In September last year, I took up the challenge of making a list of 65 reasons why I love Pakistan—the poor, broken country I and everyone else I know takes for granted. The idea was simple, but its execution, not so much. Which is why it’s taken me all these months to come up with the third set in the series.
With 26 reasons down, I now plan to complete the list in a number of quick and regular posts by August 14, 2012—Pakistan’s 65th Birthday.
So, here goes, again.
16. Thanda Pakola
Inspiringly green with a distinctively refreshing taste and smell, this purely Pakistani pop drink is perhaps one of the most prominent brands to come out of our country, ever. For the past 62 years, dil definitely bol raha hai… Pakola (My heart definitely says, "Pakola").
If you’re going to say you don’t light up at the sight of a pristine box of chum-chums and gulab-jamans that softly call on you to come closer and have just one (more!), then I’m sorry; you need to work on your Pakistaniat.
18. All those Guinness World Records
I have to admit I couldn’t find the exact number of world records Pakistan has held since 1955 when the annual reference book first started coming out. However, a little Googling confirms Pakistan’s top notch status as one of the most competitive countries in the world. Whether it’s for standing tall (literally) or shooting down five fighter jets in less than a minute; throwing balls that travel faster than your average Rawalpindi Express or simply squeezing 19 girlies into a two-door smart car; you name it; we’re on top of it!
19. The mangoes
Although I personally fall in the category of those oh-so-famously denigrated by Ghalib, I can’t deny the fact that our Langras, Sindhris and Chaunsas are, without a shred of doubt, the kings of fruit everywhere!
20. Sufi culture
Sufism has played sitar with our veins right from its introduction in the subcontinent in the 8th century. The magnanimous contribution of mystical Sufi saints in conveying the message of peace, love and divinity through their philosophical teachings and excerpts of poetry of wondrous depth is virtually irrefutable.
Pakistan was lucky enough to inherit the shrines of some of the most prominent Sufi giants of the region, and their resting places continue to draw disciples in the thousands, providing them with food, shelter, peace, and most importantly, inspiration—something this world fails to offer.
21. The Moin Akhtar, Bushra Ansari, Anwar Maqsood trio
I think this one’s pretty self-explanatory and any attempt to explain or justify the troika’s significance for Pakistan would only be able to serve feebly.
22. Sunday Bazaar
Sunday Bazar has practically got something for everybody and boy, is it addictive!
You can come here for the dime-a-dozen books, cheap stationery, imported china and kitchenware, or simply enjoy browsing the “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” section after raiding the “I can’t believe I found a barely-used designer shoe in my size for Rs500!” section.
23. Saddar in Karachi
Speaking of good bazaars, Saddar in Karachi has got to be the one stop solution for all your needs—literally!
Whether it’s pets or fruit, prosthetic surgeons, orthodontists or stolen televisions and imitation cosmetics; if you want it, Saddar’s got it; and at implausibly decent prices too! I’m sure the legendary Bara markets in Rawalpindi are Peshawar are equally accommodating to their visitors.
24. Mehdi Hassan
A few weeks ago, the man who was best known for capturing hearts as he sang his own out, passed away after spending years running in and out of hospitals for various ailments.
We’ll never really be able to recover from the loss. Mehdi Hassan debuted on Radio Pakistan in 1957, and spent the next fifty years building a reputation as the unassailable king of ghazals. He finally made a grand exit by recording his last ghazal with living legend Lata Mangeshkar in 2010. A musical gem to be proud of? I definitely think so!
25. “Loose” police-walas, government clerks and traffic wardens
No matter what you say or how guilty you feel for taking advantage, living in a country where a 100 rupee note unfailingly doubles as a truce flag, you've got to stop and thank your parents for not relocating to Amreeka or some other law-abiding country in the 80s!
26. Muslim Shower
Need I say more?
PHOTO CREDIT: PUBLICITY/AFP/REUTERS/NOOR JAVERI/EXPRESS/FILE
Read more by Saad here.